Postoperative Sore Throat

This so-called minor complication after general anesthesia was subject to review in this editorial accompanying a study. It has been described in 20-40% of patients.

Risk factors include female, younger age, a history of smoking or lung disease, longer duration of anesthesia, postoperative nausea, natural teeth (vs dentures), blood visible on the endotracheal tube at extubation, intubation techniques and larger diameter tracheal tubes.

Deserving more attention due to its discomfort even though short lived (< 48hours), remedies to reduce its incidence include intravenous dexamethasone, topical benzydamine, topical corticosteroids, lidocaine (either intra-cuff or intravenously administered), ketamine, with even the choice of volatile anesthetic playing a role (desflurane is associated with a higher incidence of POST than sevoflurane).

The editorial references a systematic review and meta-analysis in topical Magnesium. Both dose (100–500 mg, 20 mg·kg−1, or not stated at all) and delivery (gargle, lozenge, or nebulization) of topical magnesium were highly variable. While effective, it needs to be compared to other management strategies.

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